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Bersatu gets leave to challenge MACC's seizure of accounts

30 October 2023

PETALING JAYA: The Kuala Lumpur High Court has allowed Bersatu to challenge the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) seizure of its accounts.

IT was granted leave Monday (Oct 30) morning by the High Court (Appellate and Special Power division) for its judicial review application to challenge the seizure orders imposed by the MACC on its party accounts.

Justice Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid made the decision during an online proceeding in which he ruled that the Perikatan Nasional component had shown there was a prima facie case to challenge the legality of the seizure orders.

Bersatu was represented by Rosli Dahlan, Chetan Jethwani, Amiratu Al Amirat and Tang Jia Yearn, while the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) was represented by senior Federal Counsel Ahmad Hanir Hambaly and Federal Counsel Imtiyaz Auni.

On May 30, Bersatu was granted leave to challenge the freeze order imposed in January.

The judicial review on the freeze order, and the seizure order issued on April 11, have been fixed for common case management on Nov 28.

In both judicial review applications, Bersatu argued that the MACC's actions were politically motivated, alleging that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim wanted to cripple the party to ensure it did not have sufficient funds for elections.

Bersatu filed a further affidavit to point out that on Aug 15, its president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had been discharged and acquitted as the High Court found that he had been charged with an offence unknown in law.

As such, the party’s lawyers argued that the continued freezing and seizure of Bersatu’s accounts is mala fide.

Bersatu filed its first application for judicial review naming the MACC and 16 of its officers after the party’s accounts were frozen.

The MACC officers named in the application include chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki and its investigation division senior director Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hashim.

Subsequently, MACC announced that it had already seized Bersatu’s bank accounts before the expiry of the freeze order.

Bersatu then accused the MACC of backdating the seizure order and filed its second judicial review application on May 29 to review the legality of the MACC’s conduct.

Based on the leave granted Monday morning, the High Court will now consider both judicial reviews together as to whether or not the freezing and seizure were lawful.

Edited by ARFA YUNUS

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